My three-and-a-half-year-old is starting preschool this week. Last month we received our supply list for school. Now we are armed with an arsenal of crayons, glue sticks and healthy peanut-free snacks. Tomorrow we go in to see his official classroom and meet his teacher. Wednesday will be his first day at school on his own.
As a parent, I’m a little bit nervous about the whole thing. I know it’s good for him (and me!) to get out of the house and into the world of other people. But I can’t help thinking of all the things which could potentially go wrong, branding me forever as THAT parent.
1.) Misinterpretations of completely innocent phrases
A friend of mine has two daughters. They are very smart and cute and have sweet personalities. The problem: they think a “high-five” is called a “hand job”. My friend has been unsuccessful in getting them to think/say otherwise. In their minds–you slap hands for doing a good job, therefore it’s a hand job. Just imagine your four-year-old saying to her teacher, “I want to give you a hand job!” Yeah. You can understand her predicament.
While I’m actually quite thankful I don’t have to deal with THAT one (sorry, S 🙂 ), my son does have a potentially embarrassing phrase.
He will often walk up and say, “Mommy, I’m going to blow you.” Which means he’s going to pretend to be the Big Bad Wolf and blow me down like a house in The Three Little Pigs. He’ll say, “Huff and puff! Huff and puff!” Then he will blow into the air. I make a big show of spinning around the living room and falling on the floor. I know that’s what “blow you” means (and the reverse, “Blow me, Mommy” when he wants me to be the wolf), but his teacher won’t. I have never thought twice about correcting this. He’s not going to learn in two days.
2.) Understanding not-so-innocent phrases
So, I have this problem. It’s bad. I swear like a trucker when I’m driving. (No offense to truckers out there, you may have perfectly clean mouths and you walk around saying, “Wow. That girl curses like Erin”.) I’ve tried toning it down. But my son has still picked up a few phrases I’d rather he not say at all, let alone in preschool. Or church. Eesh. Which one would be worse? I’m not sure. Probably preschool. At least at church we can pretend we heard some little kid swear too, “I wonder who that was?!”
3.) The potential for our home life to appear problematic
I can see it now. Preschool will have new kids to talk to. And a nice teacher. And art supplies. And toys. And snacks. And playground equipment. On the Coolness Meter, home and Mommy will register on the same level as things like Brussels sprouts and getting your fingernails cleaned. He’s never going to want to leave. I’ll have to drag him out of there kicking and screaming, and everyone will wonder what’s so bad about home. I’ll probably have to bribe him with things like cookies and watching TV if he’ll just leave quietly, which will further damage my image as a parent (because that’s obviously important).
4.) Naked Kid strikes again
I hope this doesn’t happen at school. I really, really hope so. But every once in a while my son will decide he’s had enough of wearing clothes. So he’ll take them off. All of them. I then have to chase him down, trying to convince him to at least put on his underwear. But he’ll say something like, “No. I want the people to see my butt.” And then I have to explain how the people don’t really want to see it.
If you’re the praying type, start now. May he never show his butt at school. May he never show his butt at school.
In all seriousness, I’m excited for this opportunity for him. I can hardly believe he’s old enough for preschool. I’m sure there will be tears shed on Wednesday (mostly mine) but this is an exciting new milestone in our parent-child journey. I hope he has fun. I hope he learns a lot. And I hope he makes a lot of new friends.
Are your kids starting school this week? Any nuggets of wisdom for a newbie? Happy New School Year to you all!